Reject bill in Iowa House would limited current provisions of trans rights

The Iowa House Panel rejects a bill that would have removed gender identity as a protected class and would have taken away trans rights.

On Wednesday, Jan. 24, Iowa lawmakers began to consider a bill that would remove gender identity as a protected class allowing for discrimination against those classes, while also labeling people who identify as transgender who experience “gender dysphoria” as disabled. Although transgender people would still be protected due to this bill classifying them as disabled, transgender advocates and members of the transgender community disagreed with the classification stating that they are human and not disabled just because they are transgender. The day the bill was being considered, advocates of the LGBTQ+ community protested the bill and later that day the bill was rejected.

Though some argue that people would gain more protection due to the bill classifying those with gender dysphoria as being disabled, others argue it can actually make it harder for people to insure protection as it will be shifted to a different protection code, not to mention that many members of the trans community feel that being classified as “disabled” is a slap to the face. 

Secondly, the bill would have taken gender identity off the civil rights law, removing protections for those who identify as such. This would strip the protection of those people by allowing others to discriminate in public places or when housing.

Junior Micheal Haynes said, I think it’s ignorant at best, and actively harmful at worst. Removing legal protections for transgender people opens the door to greater discrimination than we already face in Iowa. I feel like it’s a pointless attempt to pander to the right-wing base, and I don’t think it benefits anyone.”

So how do we make our voices heard? Well we protest, of course. During the time the bill was being considered, activists rushed to protest the bill, which was rejected later that day. Although the push for equality is slow, that doesn’t mean to stop pushing.

“Protesting is incredibly important,” Haynes said. “It’s one of the best and only ways we have to influence what happens in government. It’s so important that our voices are heard to push for the change we want to see.”

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